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Photon Delivers Aussie Island Solar+Storage Project (Int'l.)
Photon Energy
Date: 2021-09-20
In the Land Down Under, Amsterdam, Netherlands-headquartered Photon Energy N.V. is reporting its subsidiary Photon Energy Engineering Australia Pty Ltd has completed and delivered an EPC-contracted hybrid solar PV energy project to the Lord Howe Island Board -- the management agency of Lord Howe Island, New South Wales.

The ground-mounted system, which incorporates 3,240 photovoltaic modules totaling 1.328 MWp connected to a 3.712 MWh Tesla Powerpack controlled by a Tesla Microgrid Controller, has been online and producing power for the past six months. ARENA provided $4.5 million im support of the $11.1 million (AUS) project. The Lord Howe Island Board arranged $5.9 million loan for the project and covered the balance of funds from its own capital. (Source: Photon Energy Group, Website, PR, 16 Sept., 2021) Contact: Photon Energy Group (Australia), Michael Gartner, CTO, Managing Director, www.photonenergy.com/en; Lord Howe Island Board, Mick Pettitt, Acting CEO, www.lhib.nsw.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Solar+Storage news,  Photon Energy news,  


Chilean Low-Carbon e-Fuel Plant Construction Underway (Int'l.)
Porsche, Siemens
Date: 2021-09-13
Stuttgart, Germany-headquartered automaker Porsche and Siemens are reporting construction is underway on the Haru Oni manufacturing plant near Punta Arenas in Chile.

When fully operational in 2022, the facility is expected to produce 34,000 gpy of synthetic fuel before scaling up to 14.5 million gpy by 2024 and 145 million gpy by 2026, at an expected cost of roughly $7.6 per gallon. Electrolyzed hydrogen is combined with CO2 to make methanol, then gasoline.

Porsche notes its developing a synthetic fuel that emits 90 percent less CO2 than gasoline derived from fossil fuels. (Source: Porsche, Sept., 2021)

More Low-Carbon Energy News Porsche,  Siemens,  Alternative Fuel,  Low-Carbon Fuel,  Synthetic Fuel ,  


Bluefield Solar Expands Wind, Solar+Storage Portfolio (Int'l, M&A)
Bluefield Solar
Date: 2021-08-16
In the UK, Isle of Gurnsey-headquartered Bluefield Solar Income Fund Ltd is reporting acquisition of a 13-MW portfolio of 109 small-scale wind turbines across Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, totalling 12.59 MW for £63 million ($74.1 million).

Bluefield also purchased a 45-MWp shovel-ready solar+storage project with 25 MWp in Lincolnshire UK. The assets were purchased from Arena Capital Partners Ltd . (Source: Bluefield Solar Fund Ltd., John Rennocks, Chairman, +44 (0) 1481 742 742, bluefieldteam@ocorian.com, www.bluefieldsif.com; Arena Capital Partners, www.arenacapital.ie

More Low-Carbon Energy News Bluefield Solar,  Wind,  Solar,  Solar+Storage,  


MicroBioGen Touts 2G Biofuels Technology Success (Int'l. Report)
MicroBioGen,Australian Renewable Energy Agency
Date: 2021-07-12
In the Land Down Under, Sydney-based MicroBioGen reports the successfull demo-scale production of both high-protein food and low carbon bioethanol from non-food material using a single biological agent -- a genetically-modified version of the common yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- developed in Australia in collaboration with Novozymes

Funded in part with a $4 million grant from the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), MicroBioGen's work will boost the role of second-generation (2G) biofuels in reducing carbon emissions and improving food security by enabling food and fuel production from abundant, low-value waste plant material. (Source: MicroBioGen, PR, July, 2021) Contact: Novozymes, Brian Brazeau, VP Bioenergy Commercial, Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO, Michael Burns, Biorefining Business Development North America,(919) 496-6926, www.novozymes.com; MicroBioGen, Geoff Bell, CEO (02) 9418 3182, geoff.bell@microbiogen.com, www.microbiogen.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News MicroBioGen,  Biofuel,  Novozymes,  


ARENA CCS, Blue Hydrogen Funding Nixed (Int'l. Report)
ARENA
Date: 2021-06-23
Yesterday in Canberra, the Australian Senate rejected a government regulation that would have allowed the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to invest in blue hydrogen projects andcarbon capture and storage (CCS).

If passed into law, the regulation would have enabled ARENA to support: energy efficiency projects, carbon capture technologies, blue hydrogen from gas using CCS, energy storage technologies to back up renewable energy and technologies that reduce emissions from aluminium and steel, and soil carbon. (Source: ARENA, The Conversation, 22 June, 2021) Contact: ARENA, Darren Miller, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, www.arena.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News CCS,  ARENA,  Blue Hydrogen,  


ARENA Supports Aussie Solar-Hydro Energy Storage Project (Int'l.)
ARENA, RayGen Resources
Date: 2021-06-11
In the Land Down Under, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reports it is providing $15 million in funding to Victoria-based RayGen Resources Pty Ltd to construct a "first of its kind" $30 million solar-hydro power plant that incorporates 4 MW of solar PV generation and 3 MW / 50 MWh of dispatchable energy storage capacity in north-west Victoria.

RayGen's solar-hydro power plant consists of RayGen's proprietary PV Ultra, a concentrating photovoltaic solar co-generation tower, combined with its patented electro-thermal storage. The technology generates heat as a by-product which is captured and used for thermal storage. The electro-thermal storage system consists of an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine, industrial chillers and two insulated water-based thermal storage pits or reservoirs, each roughly the size of four Olympic size swimming pools. One of the reservoirs is kept at a temperature of 90 degrees and the other at close to 0 degrees, and the temperature difference is used to generate dispatchable electricity using ORC turbines, according to RayGen.

The project builds on a feasibility study and development work supported by a $3 million ARENA grant in March 2020. ARENA also supported RayGen with $8.67 million in funding to develop and construct its 1-MW PV Ultra pilot project in Newbridge, Victoria. (Source: ARENA, PR, June, 2021) Contact: ARENA, Darren Miller, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, www.arena.gov.au; RayGen Resources, +61 3 8669 0380, enquiries@raygen.com, www.raygen.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News ARENA,  RayGen Resources,  Solat,  Hydro,  Energy Storage,  


Vertical Wind Turbines Slated for UK Arena Installation (Int'l.)
Alpha 311
Date: 2021-03-17
In the UK, Alpha 311 reports its innovative vertical wind turbines are to be installed on the 20,000-seat O2 Arena in Greenwich making the arena the first in the world to trial the new turbine system. The Alpha 311 vertical turbine can turn with minimal wind due to its size, weight and unique shaftless design.

While currently still being manufactured, 10 of the new turbines could produce up to an estimated 87,600 kWhs a year, which is equivalent to the annual total electricity used by 23 British homes. (Source: Alphha 311, Website PR, 13 Mar., 2021) Contact: Alpha 311, Barry Thompson, CEO, www.alpha-311.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Verticle Wind Turbine,  Alpha 311,  


Endesa Snares 519 MW Spanish PV Portfolio (Int’l., M&A)
Endesa, Arena Power
Date: 2021-03-08
Endesa, through its renewable energy promotion company Enel Green Power Espana (EGPE), is reporting acquisition of a 519-MW portfolio of PV projects from Spanish developer Arena Power.

The portfolio includes eleven projects being developed in the province of Huelva. Construction is expected to begin in 2022 and operations in 2024. The eleven projects forming this cluster are on six sites in the province of Huelva and together have the capacity to supply sufficient power for roughly 305,000 homes.

EGPE also reports construction of its f30-MW, €18 million solar park in Huelva is underway. (Source: Endesa, Website PR, 8 Mar., 2021) Contact: Endesa Arena Power

More Low-Carbon Energy News Endesa news,  Arena Power news,  


Seattle Arena 1.2MW Solar Installation Plan Announced (Ind. Report)
Unico Solar
Date: 2021-03-08
Minnesota-headquartered Excelsior Energy Capital, Seattle-based Unico Solar Investors, Oak View Group and the Seattle Kraken have announced a partnership to equip Seattle's 18,100 seat Climate Pledge Arena with 1.2 MW of onsite solar arrays.

The solar installation is in line with the arena's commitment to net Zero Carbon certification by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable building practices.

The Seattle Arena installation is part of a 250 MW portfolio of commercial and industrial (C&I) solar projects being developed by Unico Solar and Excelsior across North America. (Source: Unico Solar, PR, Mar., 2021) Contact: International Living Future Institute, www.living-future.org Excelsior Energy Capital, www.excelsiorcapital.com; Unico Solar, (206) 628-5050, www.unicoprop.com/services/real-estate/solar

More Low-Carbon Energy News Unico Solar news,  Solar news,  


Ontario Ice Arena Scores Zero-Carbon Bldg. Certification (Ind. Report)
Canada Green Building Council
Date: 2021-01-06
In Ottawa, Ontario, the AMPED Sports Lab and Ice Complex reports it is the first Zero Carbon Building Performance Standard Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building certified arena. Modern Niagara, a Canadian mechanical, electrical, building services, and integrated building technology company, partnered with AMPED on the initiative.

The arena is recognized for its energy efficiency and carbon reduction measures, reduced overall energy consumption, intelligent building automation, on-site renewable energy power generation, and replacing all fossil fuel consuming equipment on-site, such as gas-fired rooftop units, hot water heaters and the ice rink dehumidifier. (Source: AMPED Sports Lab and Ice Complex, Canada Green Building Council, 4 Jan., 2021 ) Contact: AMPED Sports Lab and Ice Complex, (613) 822-9000, www.ampedsportslab.com; Canada Green Building Council, (866) 941-1184, info@cagbc.org, www.cagbc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Canada Green Building Council,  Zero-Carbon,  Energy Efficiency,  


Aussie Researcher Scores $19Mn in Solar R&D Funding (Int'l. R&D)
Australian Centre for Advance Photovoltaics
Date: 2020-12-14
In the Land Down Under, the Australian Centre for Advance Photovoltaics at the University of NSW is reporting receipt of $19 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to support research into new solar cell and fuel materials, boost cell efficiency, and develop new storage products.

The ARENA funds will support the development of new combinations of materials that can be used to generate energy more efficiently and to place the energy generation devices in more places than rooftop panels or solar farms. (Source: Australian Centre for Advance Photovoltaics, Brisban Times, 12 Dec., 2020) Contact: University of Melbourne, Australian Centre for Advance Photovoltaics , Dr Renata Egan, research facility Chairperson, +61 3 9035 5511, www.science.unimelb.edu.au; ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, www.arena.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Photovoltaic,  ARENA,  


Australia to Invest $18Bn in Low Emission Tech. (Int'l. Report)
ARENA,Australia
Date: 2020-09-28
In the Land Down Under, Ministry for Energy and Emissions Reduction reports the Australian government expects to invest $18 billion in new low emission technologies over the next ten years to reduce carbon emissions. The ministry also released the government's first Low Emission Technology Statement aimed at making new technologies cost-competitive with existing technologies.

To that end, the new plan aims to: reduce the production cost of hydrogen; lower the cost of long duration battery storage systems; reduce the price of soil carbon measurement; decrease the cost of carbon capture storage (CCS) to under $20/ton; cut the production cost of low emission aluminum and for low emission steel; and others.

Accordingly, the government will establish a Technology Investment Framework and invest around $1.9 billion in a new energy technology package and complete its Long Term Emission Reduction Strategy before the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).

As previously reported, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) recently received $1.62 billion in government funding to enhance the utilization of low emission technologies to cut emissions across the chain. (Source: Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, ARENA, Mercom India, 27 Sept., 2020) Contact: Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Hon Angus Taylor, +02 6277 7120, angus.taylor.mp@aph.gov.au www.minister.industry.gov.au; ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, www.arena.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News ARENA,  Corbon Emissions,  


Aussie PM says Zero-Emissions Achievable but Won't say When (Int'l. Report)
Australia, Zero Emissions
Date: 2020-09-21
Further to our Jan 15, 2020 coverage when Australian Prime Minster Hon. Scott Morrison (Lib) claimed Australia's carbon emissions will be slashed by 42 pct within this decade -- a far greater reduction than the Australian Department of Environment's latest projection of just 4 pct by 2030 -- the PM now says Australia can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 but won't commit to making that an explicit target.

Morrison notes reaching the goal will require more lower emissions technologies and energy sources such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen and to that end his government has pledged to put $1.9 billion into the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFE) while allowing them to back CCS projects which they are presently prohibited from making. (Source: Office of Australian Prime Minster Hon. Scott Morrison, PR, Sydney Morning Herald, 20 Sept., 2020) Contact: Office of Australian Prime Minster Hon. Scott Morrison, www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm; Australian Renewable Energy Agency, www.arena.gov; Clean Energy Finance Corporation, www.cefc.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News AREA,  Australia Climate Change,  Zero Emissions,  Scott Morrison,  


GPT Advancing Net Zero Energy Ahead of Schedule (Int'l. Report)
GPT
Date: 2020-09-09
In the Land Down Under, Melbourne-based property manager and real estate trust GPT Group reports it plans to achieve net zero energy across its $25.3 billion property portfolio of 12 shopping centers, 24 office buildings, 35 logistics buildings and others by 2024, six years earlier than previously announced.

To that end, the company is undertaking a number of energy efficiency projects including LED lighting upgrades, building management systems updates, on-site solar projects -- particularly in the company's retail assets, and others. The company is also procuring cost effective, low price volatility energy supply contracts and to date has cut energy costs 45 pct for a $210 million savings as well as reduced emissions by 60 pct -- 1.5 million tonnes of carbon , according to the release.

GPT partners with its tenants and organisations like ARENA, CEFC, NABERS and the Green Building Council of Australia. (Source GPT, The Fifth Estate, 8 Sept., 2020)Contact: GPT, www.gpt.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Net Zero Energy,  


UAF researchers use space-based radar to measure methane emissions in Arctic lakes
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Date: 2020-05-27
One of the many greenhouse gases that is contributing to global warming is methane. Methane is emitted a lot of ways, including from lakes across Alaska. However, studies on how much methane flows up from those lakes into the atmosphere haven’t always been very accurate. New research from the University of Alaska Fairbanks utilizing radar instruments positioned on satellites has led to a breakthrough in lake methane emission research. That research could help climate scientists better see how Alaska’s lakes contribute to the world’s methane emissions. As permafrost under lakes begins to break down, it releases carbon, which is broken down by tiny microorganisms, which in turn, release methane. “Sometimes you’ll sit on the edge of the lake and you can see a little pop,” said “And you might think ‘oh hey, it’s a fish.’ But it could also be a little methane bubble that’s coming out.” Since methane is an odorless, colorless gas, it can be difficult to monitor how much is released by lakes. But not when they’re frozen. “The ice forms around the bubbles; more bubbles are released and [ice] forms around the bubbles,” Engram said. “And the ice creates a time-lapse freeze frame, pardon the pun. It’s a freeze-frame historical record of the methane bubbling.” To study these methane bubbles, Engram and other researchers use small bubble traps to make micro-measurements of methane and then scale them up to the full area. However, she says, those aren’t super accurate. Now, UAF researchers have begun to use what’s called a synthetic aperture radar, or SAR, to better map methane being released from lakes. Basically, a satellite sends a pulse down to a lake. A portion of that pulse bounces back to the satellite in what’s called a backscatter. Backscatters range in luminosity from kind of dim to very bright. Engram and other researchers used SAR to map methane emissions from 48 lakes across five regions of Alaska, including the northern Seward Peninsula near Kotzebue, lakes near Atqasuk — south of Utqiagvik — and the Fairbanks area. Of course, researchers still had to go out to the lakes that SAR was mapping to make sure it actually worked. To Engram’s delight, it did. Engram says the success of using SAR to map out methane emissions in Arctic lakes means the system can monitor thousands of lakes across the state. And that’s not just exciting from a research perspective. Engram says that there isn’t a lot of global data on methane release from lakes, and use of the SAR can help create a baseline to track in the future. That will be useful to climate scientists tracking changes in the atmosphere. Studies show that methane is about 30 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. And while methane is naturally emitted from these lakes, Engram says the amount is drastically dwarfed by the amount produced from those anthropogenic sources. (Source: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, KOTZ, 17 May, 2020) Contact: University of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center, Melanie Engram, (907) 474-7789, (907) 474-7041 – fax, nmisarti@alaska.edu R, www.ine.uaf.edu/werc

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane news,  Methane Emissions news,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  

More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Methane Emissions,  


RayGen Touts Aussie CSP, Hydro Storage Technology (Int'l. Report)
RayGen,Photon Energy
Date: 2020-04-17
In the Land Down Under, Melbourne-based solar power technology and renewable energy storage specialist RayGen is touting plans to develop a huge 100MW/1,000MWh concentrated solar (CSP) and hydro storage project.

RayGen's technology is currently on track to be tested at a 50MWh-scale in Victoria State with $3 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and a key partnership with Sydney-based major power generator and retailer AGL Energy Ltd.

The company also recently announced a planned 200MW solar plant with around 100MW/1000MWh storage Photon Energy. (Source: RayGen, PR, 15 April, 2020) Contact: Raygen, +61 3 8669 0380, www.raygen.com; ARENA, www.arena.gov.au; AGL Energy, 011 61 3 8633 6000, www.agl.com.au; Photon Energy, www.photonenergy.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Australian Renewable Energy Agency,  Concentrated Solat,  Energy Storage,  Photon,  


Cubico Acquires 50MW Spanish Concentrated Solar Plant (Int'l., M&A)
Cubico
Date: 2020-02-07
The UK-based renewables investment firm Cubico Sustainable Investments is reporting the acquisition of the 50-MW Arenales Solar PS, S.L. in Seville from the Paneuropean Infrastructure Fund.

The Arenales project came online in 2008 and is designed to generate 148 GWh of electricity annually through a solar field of parabolic trough collectors. The project was constructed by OHL Industrial.

With this acquisition, Cubico holds eight assets totaling 279 MW in Spain and Portugal, including photovoltaic, solar thermal and wind energy technologies. (Source: Cubico Sustainable Investments, PR, reve, 6 Feb., 2020) Contact: Cubico Sustainable Investments , Ricardo Diaz, contact@cubicoinvest.com, +44 (0)20 3805 3900, www.cubicoinvest.com

More Low-Carbon Energy News Cubico,  Solar,  CSP ,  


Moda Center First Arena to Earn LEED O+M Platinum Certification
USGBC
Date: 2019-08-30
August 29, 2019 Portland’s Moda Center is the first arena to receive LEED O+M (v4.1) Platinum Certification, a major milestone in the greening of sports. The facility is part of a 30-acre sports and entertainment district on the east bank of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. It includes the 19,393-seat Moda Center and 12,888-seat Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter’s Chris McGowan says, “We are very proud to be the first existing professional sports arena to receive LEED Platinum certification. Nine years ago, we were the first existing arena to achieve LEED Gold status, and we continue to innovate and develop our sustainable processes and procedures to provide a healthy, sustainable arena for our community.” The green effort includes turning food waste into soil used throughout the Rose Quarter campus, contributing to the one million pounds of material diverted from landfills annually. After every event, crews sort through every bag of waste and put materials into appropriate streams. (Source: ConnectCRE, 28 Aug., 2019)

More Low-Carbon Energy News USGBC news,  Energy Efficiency news,  LEED Certification news,  


Atlanta's State Farm Arena Scores USGBC LEED Gold (Ind. Report)
USGBC,LEED Certification
Date: 2019-06-21



ARENA Supports Woody Biomass Renewable Bitumen Project (Int'l)
ARENA,Global Ecofuel
Date: 2019-05-10
In New South Wales, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) reports it has awarded $350,000 to two companies -- Global Ecofuel and Boral Timber -- to investigate the production of renewable bitumen and diesel from sawmill woody biomass waste.

Under the $842,000 study, Boral Timber, a hardwood and softwood supplier, will explore the technical and financial viability of establishing a biorefinery near the Herons Creek sawmill. If constructed, the proposed biorefinery could cost around $35 million and could convert up to 50,000 tpy of waste sawmill residue into transport-grade renewable diesel and bitumen. (Source: ARENA, World Highways, 8 May, 2019) Contact: Boral Timber , Wayne Manners, Exec. Manager, www.boral.com.au/products/timber, www.boral.com; Arena, www.arena.gov.au/projects/hardwood-residue-bio-refinery-feasibility-study; Global Ecofuel Solutions, https://gefs.es

More Low-Carbon Energy News Woody Biomass,  ARENA,  


Aussie Micro-Algae Bio-crude Specialist Goes Broke (Int'l)
Muradel
Date: 2019-04-10
In the Land Down Under, Whyalla, South Australia based microalgae - advanced bio-crude startup company Mursadel is reported to have been placed in voluntary administration -- Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.

Muradel developed Green2Black, a proprietary way of producing biofuel from biosolids, algae and other sustainable feedstocks. The company's $10.5 million demonstration plant in Whyalla in a bid to commercialize the technology which received $4.5 million in grant funding from the Federal Government's Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and more than $500,000 in state and council funds. Unfortunately, production costs were prohibitive - the pilot plant produced oil from micro-algae at about $9.90 a litre against a projected cost of less than $1 a litre. The company also built five algae ponds to support research.

The business was established in 2010 by the University of Adelaide, Murdoch University and majority shareholder SQC Pty Ltd, which is solely funded by Aban Australia Pty Ltd. (part of the Ausker Group of Companies).(Source: Daily Telegraph, The Advertiser, Others, 9 April, 2019) Contact: Muradel, +61 8 8645 5683, www.muradel.com.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News Muradel,  Biofuel,  Algae,  


NRDC Calls Coal vs. Renewables Political Divide Fake News (Opinions, Editorials & Asides)
NRDC
Date: 2019-02-25
The following is from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC): "New polls show that all Americans -- Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike -- want to close the book on our dirtiest fossil fuel. From a political standpoint, defending coal consumption is harder than ever. Coal is far and away the dirtiest fossil fuel there is in terms of carbon emissions and regular old air pollution (and its messy mining practices certainly aren’t helping its reputation). And when you factor in health care costs, environmental costs, and costs to local communities in the form of reduced tourism and property values, coal is also a real loser economically speaking -- especially in relation to natural gas and renewables like wind and solar.

"Still, lawmakers from coal-producing states and members of the current presidential administration have long attempted to justify their defense of coal on the grounds that it's more than a fossil fuel -- it's a way of life. This has been a reasonably effective tactic, up to a point. If you're trying to neutralize the arguments of those who want to see coal phased out of the U.S. energy diet, the best way to do so is to play the culture card: Point to all the people who rely on the coal industry for a regular paycheck and appeal to their sense of history and heritage.

"But this last line of defense -- 'Renewables may be all the rage in San Francisco or Seattle or wherever, but where I come from, the people still love coal and always will' -- may not be effective for much longer.

Two recently released reports show how public sentiment regarding coal and renewables has shifted dramatically in recent years. One of them looks at attitudes at the national level; the other explores them in the historically coal-friendly state of Ohio. Both spell trouble for the future of an industry that's already, by nearly all accounts, on its last legs.

"The University of Michigan's National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) is a biannual survey of public opinion surrounding issues of climate and energy policy, providing perhaps the best snapshot we could ever hope for in regard to how Americans stand on subjects like coal, renewables, climate science, geoengineering, a carbon tax, and a host of other climate-related topics. Late last year, to commemorate its 10th anniversary of publication, NSEE released a trove of reports that illustrate just how much public opinion has changed on these matters over the past decade.

"One of them in particular should strike fear into the hearts of the coal industry's dead-enders and spark joy in the hearts of the rest of us. It shows that between 2016 and 2017, the number of Americans who strongly support a coal phaseout increased 11 percentage points, from 18 pct to 29 pct. In that same one-year period, the number of Americans who oppose a phaseout fell by the same amount. Remarkably, in states with active coal mines, strong support for a phaseout rose even more: by 13 points. Just as remarkably, this trend seemed to cut across political lines, rising among Democrats, independents, and Republicans. Among the last group, strong support for a phaseout actually increased by 5 percentage points, whereas the number of Republicans who strongly oppose it fell by 14 points.

"Another NSEE report provides a perfect complement. As more Americans announce their willingness to say goodbye to coal, they're also saying hello to the opportunity presented by renewables. This report reveals that 88 pct of Americans are in favor of increasing the use of solar energy in their state, and 82 pct feel the same about wind energy. Here, too, there's real bipartisan buy-in, with 79 pct of Republicans getting behind solar and 72 pct getting behind wind. What's more, the numbers show that a sizable majority of Republican, Democratic, and independent respondents support requiring and/or subsidizing renewable energy production at the state level. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed -- 64 pct -- said they like the idea of a state renewable energy requirement; even more amazingly, 65 pct of them said they have no problem with boosting the nascent renewables sector through subsidies.

"But an even more eye-opening poll is making news too. An organization with a somewhat eyebrow-raising name, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum, released the results of a survey last week suggesting that support for renewables is no longer a politically exploitable issue. In a survey of 400 Ohioans who self-identify as conservative, two-thirds of respondents said they believe their state needs to diversify its energy portfolio by having at least half of its energy come from renewable sources. Nearly the same percentage of respondents said they were more likely to support a politician who voted for or otherwise expressed support for renewable energy or energy efficiency legislation. "Ohio, just as a reminder, ranks 11th in coal production among U.S. states, and its coal industry supports about 33,000 jobs. It also ranks fourth among states in coal consumption.

"For too long, it's been too easy for lawmakers and administration officials to claim that by kowtowing to the coal industry's wishes, they were simply doing right by voters. It's getting harder. The gap between the interests of average Americans and the interests of coal-company executives is getting wider every day. And solar and wind are wedging their way in. (Source: NRDC, 22 Feb., 2019) Contact: NRDC, Jeff Turrentine www.nrdc.org

More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Energy,  Coal,  NRDC,  


Hydrostor Touts Aussie Compressed Air Energy Storage (Ind. Report)
Hydrostor,ARENA
Date: 2019-02-13
Toronto-headquartered advanced compressed air energy storage (A-CAES) specialist Hydrostor Inc. is reporting its subsidiary, Hydrostor Australia Pty Ltd, has been awarded a combined total of $9 million in grant funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Government of South Australia in support of the 5 MW project. Australia's first A-CAES project is slated for construction at the site of a mothballed mine near Adelaide.

(Source: Hydrostor, 12 Feb., 2019) Contact: Hydrostor, Curtis VanWalleghem, CEO. www.hydrostor.ca; ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, http://arena.gov.au

More Low-Carbon Energy News ARENA,  Hydrostor,  Compressed Air Energy STorage,  


Atlanta Mercedes-Benz Stadium USGBC LEED Certified (Ind. Report)
USGBC
Date: 2019-02-04
In Atlanta. the 2-million-square-foot, 2017-vintage Mercedes Benz Stadium arena reports it was the first U.S. professional sports stadium to achieve US Green Building Council Platinum LEED certification.

The Mercedes-Benz Stadium LEED qualifying features include: 82,500 square feet of LED lighting, which lasts 10 times longer than standard lighting and reduces energy use by up to 60 pct;

  • 4,000 onsite solar panels can generate 1.6 million kWh , sufficient power for 10 Atlanta Falcons games;
  • an advanced storm water management system that can store over 2 million gallons of water to reduce flooding risk to surrounding areas;
  • 48 EV charging stations, and others.

    The NFL recently announced a membership with the Green Sports Alliance, an organization aimed at encouraging green and renewable practices at sporting events. (Source: USGBC, Greenroofs, 3 Feb., 2019) Contact: Green Sports Alliance, www.greensportsalliance.org; USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org

    More Low-Carbon Energy News LEED Certification,  US Green Building Council,  Energy Efficiency,  


  • Hunter Pilot Ethanol Biorefinery Launched in Australia (Int'l)
    Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources,
    Date: 2019-01-18
    In the Land Down Under, the Sydney-based University of Newcastle Institute for Energy and Resources (NIER) and Ethanol Technologies (Ethtec), in partnership with the Muswellbrook Shire Council, reports the development of the Hunter Pilot Biorefinery (HPB), a bio-renewables research facility and an environmentally sustainable process to produce biofuels and other renewable chemicals from crop and forestry waste.

    The HPB will be a state-of-the-art facility containing biomass processing and fermentation equipment applicable to a range of biofuel and renewable chemical production technologies.

    The first phase of the project received $4.6 million from the New South Wales (NSW) Government under the Growing Local Economies fund to unlock long-term growth opportunities in regional NSW through targeted infrastructure investment.

    The foundation project of the Biorefinery is a $30 million cellulosic ethanol pilot plant project by Apace Research Limited (Apace), Ethanol Technologies Limited (Ethtec), the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Chinese engineering company JTL and the University of Newcastle. (Source: University of Newcastle, Australia, PR 17 Jan., 2019) Contact: NIER, Professor Alan Broadfoot, Executive Director, +61 2 4033 9000, www.newcastle.edu.au; Ethtec, + 61 7 4776 5300, +61 7 4776 5392 - fax, www.ethtec.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Biofuel,  Ethanol,  Ethtec,  Biomass,  


    Aussie Hardwood Waste-to-Renewable Diesel Explored (Int'l)
    BORAL,ARENA
    Date: 2018-12-19
    Further to our 27th August report, In the Land Down Under, lumber and building materials supplier BORAL and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) are reported to have joined forces to fund a $1.2 million (AUS) feasibility study of a proposed a second-generation woody biomass biorefinery in New South Wales (NSW).

    The study will explore the potential conversion of up to 50,000 tonnes of sawmill hardwood residues from a BORAL owned sawmill near Port Macquarie, NSW, into renewable transport-grade diesel and bitumen using world-first technology. The study will consider a mechanical catalytic conversion technology, developed by Spanish-based Global Ecofuel Solutions, combined with the potential biorefinery. The process has never before been used in a production-scale facility.(Source: BORAL, ARENA, AggNet, 18 Dec., 2018) Contact: ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, http://arena.gov.au; Boral Limited, www.boral.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Renewable Diesel,  Biofuel,  Renewable Fuel,  ARENA,  BORAL,  


    $50Mn Australian Grid-Scale Energy Storage Fund Launched (Int'l)

    Date: 2018-11-23
    In the Land Down Under, the South Australian Government has introduced a AU$50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund (GSSF) aimed at accelerating the deployment of new large-scale energy storage projects, including pumped hydro, hydrogen, gas storage, solar thermal, bioenergy and battery storage.

    Potential projects seeking funding will be assessed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Projects shortlisted for GSSF funding may also be eligible for ARENA funding under the Advancing Renewables Program . Under the GSSF, applicants must be able to match funding dollar-for-dollar and preference will be given to projects targeting financial close by the end of 2019.

    ARENA is already supporting feasibility studies for two prospective pumped hydro plants at Cultana and Middleback Ranges, two virtual power plants trials and has contributed towards two grid-scale batteries -- Infigen's Lake Bonney battery and the ESCRI battery in Dalrymple. (Source: ARENA, Energy Storage, 23 Nov., 2018) Contact: ARENA, www.arena.gov.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Australia,  Energy Storage,  ARENA,  


    Aussie Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Study Funded (Int'l Report)
    Origin Energy
    Date: 2018-10-29
    In Canberra, the Australian federal government government has announced $2 million of funding for an Origin Energy study into the proposed expansion of its Shoalhaven pumped hydro energy storage scheme, a project that could provide baseload power for up 80,000 homes.

    The proposal, which would up the station's capacity from 240MW to 475MW should it go ahead, is to pump water from Lake Yarrunga to Fitzroy Falls Reservoir via a new underground pumped power station.

    The feasibility study would be completed by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and could cost as much as $6.8 million when completed in 2019. 2019. (Source: Australian Renewable Energy Agency, Oct., 2018) Contact: ARENA, www.arena.gov.au; Origin Energy, Frank Calabria, CEO, www.originenergy.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Origin Energy,  Pumped Hydro,  Energy Storage,  


    $15Mn Aussie Partner's to Create Fuel from Renewables (Int'l)
    ARENA
    Date: 2018-10-24
    In the Land Down Under, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency Australian (ARENA) reports it is partnering with the energy firm Jemena Ltd. on a $15 million trial project to create hydrogen gas from solar and wind power.

    The partners plan to construct a 500-KW electrolyser in western Sydney as part of Project H2GO. The facility will be able to generate enough hydrogen to power about 250 homes. The resulting fuel would be stored for use across the Jemena Gas Network in New South Wales. (Source: Jemena, Power Eng., 22 Oct., 2018) Contact: ARENA, Ivor Frischknecht, CEO, +61 2 6243 7773, arena@arena.gov.au, www.arena.gov.au; Jemena, Frank Tudor, Managing Dir., 1300 536 362, https://jemena.com.au

    More Low-Carbon Energy News ARENA,  

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